How To Ride A New Race Track For The First Time

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Category: How To

5. Ask For Help
Following someone who knows the lines can be a huge help, but make sure you ask someone to show you around. That way, they'll be sure to ride smoothly, predictably and at a pace that will be safe for you. Pay attention to where they're braking, where they turn in and where they get on the throttle. If your helper is particularly nice, they'll start easy, then pick up the pace lap after lap, towing you up to speed.

6. Leave A Margin For Error
Don't commit to a corner at 100 percent until you're 100 percent sure you're doing it right. That will take some time, maybe even multiple visits to the track across several seasons. With a little kept in reserve, you'll be able to alter your lines, run wide in safety if you need to or just respond to the unexpected. And the unexpected can and does happen. On my first visit to Beaver Run, some hero tried to out brake me into Turn 10. Should have been fine, since I was poking around during my first session of the day, but the trouble was I was on a well-built SV650 race bike — on slicks — while he was riding a stock version of the same motorcycle on road tires. The inevitable happened and he low sided while inside me on the corner, sliding across the track. Because I was trail braking and had plenty of grip in reserve, I was able to shed speed and avoid his tumbling body by mere inches. Don't be that guy.

7. Don't be Intimidated
No matter where you are, a track is still a track and a corner is still a corner. The vast majority of the same practices apply to all of them. Start wide, hit the apex, then accelerate out, using the full width of the track. Sure, there's some variations on that theme, but it is the same theme, anywhere you go.

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